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Google app v7.14.15 includes references to Quartz, possibly a new Google Home device with built-in display [APK Teardown]

The latest (minor) update to the Google app brought with it a surprise twist as it enabled customization in the search bar widget. As it turns out, that's not the only new thing in this update. A teardown also turned up quite a few clues relating to a new on-screen interface for Google Home or a new Home device with built-in display.

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YouTube Gaming v2.02 adds Autoplay and introduces a new icon and splash screen [APK Download]

The YouTube Gaming app has been flying under the radar for a while as most of the updates have been focused on fixing bugs or making fairly minor changes–there haven't even been any new easter eggs since v1.97. Yesterday's update shows a little bit more activity as both cosmetic and functional changes were made. A revamped app icon and splash screen bring a little freshness to the look, and the always familiar autoplay feature from the core YouTube app is now available so you can put on an endless stream of game reviews or let's plays.

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Play Books v3.15 adds stylus support for faster highlighting, translation, and notes [APK Download]

Outside of Samsung's yearly announcement of a new Galaxy Note, it's rare to see anything interesting happening with a stylus. However, the latest update to Google Play Books comes with some new behavior that makes a stylus much more useful with things like college textbooks and other reference material. Now when you drag a stylus over some text, it instantly switches into selection mode and pops up the action menu as soon as the selection is done.

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Play Music v8.1 appears with dedicated Android TV app and a significantly new look [APK Download]

The Play Music app on Android TV has remained mostly unchanged since the platform launched three years ago. If you've grown tired of the wall of orange and all of the completely original Material Design components that were used when Android TV first launched, you'll be happy to see that Play Music is now sporting a new look. A new Android TV-specific variant of the Play Music app is rolling out through the Play Store with a completely redesigned look.

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Google app v7.14 beta teases Assistant for tablets, adds 'unlink' for Android TV devices, and more [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Google app began circulating in the beta channel late last night. This one brings a small addition that makes it easy to remove your account from a linked Android TV unit with Assistant. It's not too exciting, but it is important to have available. The more interesting details are found in the teardown, where we finally see a sign that Assistant is coming to tablets soon, the 'Recents' screen is going to get a bit more versatile with more types of content, and more.

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Google+ v9.23 adds app shortcuts for quickly starting new posts [APK Download]

Most updates to the Google+ app tend to fit the "bug fixes and performance improvements" theme, but last month's release of v9.20 did bring custom notification channels for Android 8.0 Oreo – but maybe not the ones we needed. Today's bump to v9.23 makes a similarly subtle addition with support for a slightly older OS feature: App Shortcuts. If you're running on 7.1 Nougat or above, or using a custom launcher with support for static app shortcuts, you'll now have the option to quickly start a few different types of Google+ posts directly from your launcher.

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Get the new Pixel 2 live wallpapers on any Android device [APK Download]

If anyone saw our hands-on with the Pixel 2 XL at Google's October 4th event, you may have noticed the phones are rocking some intriguing new live wallpapers. They are obviously intended to be Pixel 2 exclusives, but if there's one thing that you can rely on in the Android developer community, it's that someone out there will be on hand to mod an interesting new app and get it working on more devices.

The new Pixel 2 launcher thankfully works on other phones without modification, although if you want the swipe-for-Google-Feed functionality on phones other than the first generation Pixels and Nexus devices, you'll need to install it as a system app.

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Google Duo v20 is preparing to add screen sharing during video calls [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Duo video chat app is rolling out to (Nexus, Pixel, and Android One) users with the next step toward full integration with Google's Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages apps. While it's getting more convenient to make video calls with friends and family, a teardown of the latest updates points to a new screen sharing feature that may allow you to also help them when they have problems with their phones.

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Google Photos v3.7 ends ambiguity around Pixel 2's free original quality storage offer [APK Teardown]

Google launched a pretty cool promotion in 2016 with the offer to store every photo and video taken on Pixels at original quality. The same promotion will apply this year with the release of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but it now comes with a catch: The promotion expires in the year 2020.

Unfortunately, the phrasing of the new terms left room for interpretation, leaving many people concerned that all of their uploaded photos would suddenly count against their storage quota or may be converted to lower quality once the expiration date hit. Thanks to a teardown of the latest Google Photos update, we have definite confirmation that both your photos and your storage quota will remain safe and unmolested.

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Mozilla is testing another new browser called Firefox Rocket, specifically for Indonesia [APK Download]

Mozilla has been pretty busy recently. Last month it updated its main browser, Firefox, with a much needed modern UI makeover, and back in the summer it launched a completely new browser, Firefox Focus. It's much simpler and faster than the standard Firefox app, and it's much more privacy conscious, too, with no tabs and automatic blocking of ads and trackers. There's also a Germany-specific version called Klar.

The company isn't taking a break anytime soon either, and a new unreleased app has popped up on the Play Store. Firefox Rocket appears to be similar to Focus, except it's specifically built for Indonesia and rather than privacy, the key USPs are that it's lightweight and fast, perfect for a region where mobile data and Wi-Fi aren't so cheap or easy to come by.

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